THE board of Johnston Press – ahead of the AGM on 22 May 2017 – provides the following trading update for the 17-week period from 1 January 2017 to 30 April 2017.
Comparatives are against the same 17-week period in 2016, unless otherwise stated.
The trends seen in the first quarter, as set out in the announcement of the group’s 2016 results on 29 March 2017, have continued and the board expects trading for the full year to be in line with market expectations.
* Total revenues for the period, including the i, were up 0.2 per cent; excluding the i, total revenues were down 12 per cent;
* Digital advertising revenues (excluding classified) were up ten per cent; including classifieds, digital revenues were up three per cent;
* On-network digital audiences are up 11 per cent to 26m, with average page views up 17 per cent;
* The i newspaper continues to perform well, with newspaper sales volumes (excluding bulks) up four per cent in the 12 months since acquisition, circulation revenues up 23 per cent and average website unique users grew 12 per cent from February 2017 to March 2017; and
* Circulation volumes of key daily newspapers, The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, continue to improve, while other large dailies have also seen some improvement, including the Sheffield Star, Yorkshire Evening Post and the Edinburgh Evening News.
The board notes that trading conditions for regional newspapers in the UK remain challenging and, while encouraged by improving trends across the Group, the management team continues to take actions to manage its costs tightly.
Notes to the trading update
The figures are derived from unaudited management accounts and presented on a continuing adjusted basis including the acquisition of the i on 11 April 2016 and excluding disposals or closures of businesses and other non-trading or exceptional items.
Total advertising revenues (excluding classifieds) excludes revenues from Jobs, Property, Motors, other classifieds and features.
The digital business (digital advertising revenue (excluding classifieds)) includes Local and National Display, Digital Marketing Services, content marketing and syndication revenues and excludes classifieds.
Newspaper sales includes the i newspaper from 11 April 2016.
The announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.
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